Part of my remit as a VA is to undertake varying forms of research as well as guest blog outreach, both of which require plenty of time trawling the Internet looking at countless business websites. And let me tell you the amount of websites’ I see where the contact details are hidden away out of sight is astounding! This includes some VA websites.
But it’s not just websites that need to be considered, it’s your offline marketing material as well. Some business owners go to so much time and trouble to have all singing and dancing business cards with strap lines and logos, but then forget to include all their contact details. You may put your website address on there at the bottom in small print, but what if that person isn’t at, or near a computer and they need a VA that minute?
Since we’re in business to attain and retain clients, it’s important that your contact details are clear on each of your communication methods. This includes:
- Business website
- Business cards
- Forum profiles
- Social media profiles
- Offline advertising material
- Video marketing material
And anything else you currently do to market your business.
What contact details should be included? Now the below may seem really obvious, but let’s just use it as a quick check list.
- Full name
- Business postal address
- Website address
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Business mobile number
- Fax number
- Skype ID
- Social media URLs
I’m harping on about this because it really is so important and yet so easily overlooked.
I’ll give you an example that a new client of mine told me about this week when we were chatting about how delighted he is to have found me, and I him – yes it was one of those moments! But he genuinely is such a fantastic client.
A couple of months ago he went to a business networking event where he met a VA (not me!) and they got chatting. After around 20 minutes of discussing his business needs and her explaining how she could help, she gave him her business card and asked him to get in touch when he was ready to hire someone. Later that month, once my (now) client decided that he was ready to work with a VA, he got out her business card to get in touch and there was only her name and a telephone number listed for contact.
This shouldn’t ordinarily be a problem, assuming the VA in question always answered her telephone.
On this occasion the call went through to her voicemail. A generic O2 voicemail.
Lucky for me, because he then went online and searched for another VA with the relevant skill set, up popped my website with all my contact details listed, he phoned and I picked up!
Perhaps if she had her email address, website address or even another phone number, she wouldn’t have missed out on this piece of new business.
So this leads me on to my final point. If you do provide a telephone number and don’t use a telephone answering service for those times you’re otherwise engaged, make sure your phone has a personalised answer phone message. Make it even easier and include an email address in your voicemail that they can contact you on.
This will let the caller know they
a) have called the right number,
b) have been offered an alternative means of communication which may help,
c) should expect a response from you by X (as outlined in your message),
d) are dealing with a professional who is being helpful and responsive, whilst being unable to pick up their call at that time.
How easy have you made it to be contacted by new clients?